Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Conservatives keep digging in Quebec

Macleans has an interesting article on the Conservative Party's increasing woes in Quebec. And between interesting anecdotes like this:

Meanwhile, organizers were scurrying across the room, pleading with attendees to keep quiet during the PM’s speech. Despite shelling out $150 for the privilege, diners didn’t appear particularly interested in listening to what Harper had to say. In fact, Harper didn’t even get the evening’s warmest reception. That privilege went to Maxime Bernier.
And advice Harper the egomaniac is unlikely to ever take, like this:
Bob Plamondon, a longtime Conservative and the author of Blue Thunder: The Truth about Conservatives from Macdonald to Harper, goes even further. He says Harper needs to strike a power-sharing agreement with someone able to countenance the prime minister’s sharply partisan instincts when it comes to Quebec. It’s the only way, Plamondon says, for Harper to avoid making missteps like those on culture and young offenders that are widely credited with sinking his chances of a majority in the last election campaign.
What struck me as most interesting though, as the article outlines how the Harper Conservatives continue to do much the same things that got them in trouble there in the first place, reinforcing the negative perceptions of the Conservative brand, was this observation from Harper's Quebec boss:
While it may seem counter-intuitive for the Tories to return to the ideological territory that may have played a role in derailing their campaign in 2008, a spokesperson for Conservative MP Christian Paradis, Harper’s Quebec lieutenant, says the party plans to stick with the tough-on-crime pitch to Quebecers.
Do they think Quebecers are going to suddenly do a 180 on the issue? Did the Conservatives learn nothing from the last campaign? It's like Harper is saying to Quebecers: "It's not me, it's you. I'm right, you change."

Honestly, I thought he was smarter than that. But apparently I gave him too much credit, as he's continuing down that same road again. Which, frankly, is just fine with me.

Amusing that Bernier got a warmer reception than Harper. Bernier might be the party's only MP left in the province after the next election, the way they're going.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers


McLea said...

So I have a few questions to ask Jedras. Here they go:

What’s with the incessant partisan rhetoric? I mean seriously. For the past two weeks, despite the fact that nothing even remotely interesting has happened, you’ve managed to conger up 14 consecutive posts that serve no purpose outside of maligning the Conservatives. Now my question is this: what constructive purpose do you think these posts serve?

Now I think I understand unabashed partisan rhetoric on a broader scale. 95% of Canadians don’t actively follow politics, and basically form their views on politicians based on the few things they accidentally read about them in the paper, or hear about them on the radio. So on a national media scale, partisan rhetoric makes sense because if can you get your talking point onto the front page of the media, where it will reach people who don’t give a shit about politics and will form their opinions based on the little information they do absorb, then there’s at least a legitimate chance that your rhetoric will help form opinions and win votes. So I get partisan rhetoric on a grandeur scale.

What I don’t get is your partisan rhetoric. I can assure you with 100% confidence that the entire audience for your blog consists of the following:

- Active Liberals who already hold strong opinions and just like to read people who think like they do
- Non-Liberals like me who like to spend their free time reading stuff written by people they can’t stand

In other words, people who are pretty much perfectly immune from disingenuous, contrived, partisan bullshit. Joe Blow who doesn’t give a shit about politics isn’t stumbling upon your blog. Johnny undecided isn’t exploring your blog in order to better inform himself. The only people who read your blog are people that have long since made up their minds.

I mean, it’s like you’re the crazy guy yelling in the street at 3 in the morning. Now I decided awhile ago that you’re too smart not to be fully aware of everything I wrote above. Maybe at one point you thought you were making a difference, but it must have dawned on you after a few months that you were just preaching to the choir and that your efforts on your blog don’t win the Liberals any votes.

So that leaves the question: why do you insist on being such a political hack? Do you just like writing, and you’ve decided that you’d rather make contrived attacks on Stephen Harper rather than, I don’t know, writing about something meaningful or interesting? I don’t know if you ever watched Crossfire, but your blog is kind of like that. In one sense the show was informative, because it occasionally tackled the larger policy issues of the day and provided opinions on it. But at the same time it was the worst fucking show ever because it created this disgusting fake dichotomy. For every issue there was a Democratic point of view, and a Republican point of view, and regardless of what you actually believed, you had to adamantly defend “your view” and cast disdain on “their view.” In other words it had potential to be both informative and meaningful, but instead ended up being contrived, disingenuous bullshit that served absolutely no constructive purpose. Just like your blog.

Anyway, I think my problem is that I want you to be Calgary Grit. If you actually stopped pretending like you had some meaningful influence on the political views of other people in this country, I think you could be a pretty interesting and insightful commentator.

Jeff said...

a) I'm not labouring under the impression I have any influence on anything, although I did apparently influence you to leave a fairly lengthily, considered comment.

b) I started blogging to vent, that hasn't changed.

c) I have a few ideas in the hopper for more substantive posts. For example, a piece on social media in politics, another on an overlooked angle on the EI that will be darned-near non-partisan.

But whenever I find the time to write something more thoughtful and substantive, I'm pulled off-track by Harper doing something so stupid that I feel compelled to respond. I actually wish he'd go on vacation for awhile, I need a break from his embarrassments.

d) And I would hardly call raising issues such as how Harper plans to tackle a mounting deficit without raising taxes or cutting spending, wondering why he's talking out of both sides oh his mouth on gun control or why our PM feels the need to slag political rivals on the world stage as overly-partisan issues. Embarrassing for the Conservatives perhaps, but tough cookies.

e) Much of your comment could be as an indictment of political blogging overall. That's fine. But then, why do you read them, let alone bother to comment?

f) There can be only one Calgary Grit.

Jon Pertwee said...

Um, Pot meet Kettle. Stay classy McLea